ATLANTA–InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has revealed the name of its new high-quality midscale brand—avid hotels—alongside a brand logo and renderings of the hotel exterior, public space, and guestrooms. First introduced to owners at the IHG Americas Conference in June, the avid hotels brand is now franchise-ready, officially marking the start of licensing in the U.S. for IHG’s newest brand. More than 150 owners have already expressed interest in the brand. IHG expects the first avid hotels locations to begin construction in early 2018, and the first hotel is anticipated to open in early 2019.
Keith Barr, CEO of IHG, said: “We built our Holiday Inn Express brand into a hugely successful, leading midscale brand. Now, with the introduction of avid hotels, we’re set to add another one and extend IHG’s leadership position in this segment. With 14 million potential customers looking for the type of hospitality avid hotels will offer, this new hotel brand represents a significant growth opportunity for IHG and our family of owners.”
This brand is designed for travelers who want a hotel stay that meets their expectations for the type of hospitality they value most–the basics done exceptionally well–at a price point expected to be about $10 to $15 less than IHG’s Holiday Inn Express brand.
Elie Maalouf, CEO, IHG, the Americas, added: “Our extensive consumer research and conversations with owners identified a clear opportunity to reach an important set of business and leisure travelers in a vastly underserved $20 billion segment of the U.S. midscale market. We applied our insights, expertise, and scale to deliver an experience that features modern and stylish designs, superior guestrooms and public spaces, and great service–all at an excellent value. I have no doubt avid hotels will continue IHG’s success in delivering what our guests want, while driving superior returns for our owners.”
IHG shared new brand features along with the announcement, including:
Avid hotels’ logo, which illustrates what IHG describes as a “confident and modern design.” With colors of red and aqua, the logo features a signature checkmark, which acts as a stamp of confidence that avid hotels will deliver an unrivaled experience, the company says. This brand is the first to launch using IHG’s master brand mark–”an IHG Hotel”–in communications and building signage.
Exterior and public space renderings for avid hotels, which include an open and airy retail-like entry, a canopy, and a stairwell with an eye-catching red architectural feature. On the inside, guests will find vibrant, open public and work areas, and inviting communal spaces that allow guests to relax, work, connect, or eat. The hotels will offer a focused, high-quality, complimentary breakfast and marketplace options made for guests on the go. The entire hotel will be equipped with IHG Connect WiFi and the ability for loyalty members to be automatically connected for all future visits. Hotels will also leverage IHG’s cloud-based reservation system.
Guestroom renderings highlight rooms constructed with sound-reducing features for a superior night’s sleep, and the bathrooms are designed to re-energize guests with a fresh and bright design. Each guestroom will also offer a dedicated workspace and ample open storage, as well as in-room entertainment options that allow guests to cast content from their smart devices to in-room televisions.
The hotel’s design and operating model was developed in collaboration with an owner advisory board, ensuring that avid hotels are efficient to build, operate, and maintain. Hotels will be designed for new build construction on an average lot size of approximately 1.5 acres, and all avid hotels will be built with environmentally friendly and efficient design. The prototype design features 95 to 100 keys with a minimum of three stories. The initial owner offer includes 5 percent royalty fee and the first 100 signed license agreements will be eligible for a 2 percent fee discount in year one and 1 percent fee discount in year two (2/1 royalty fee reduction).